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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  May 16, 2015 2:34pm-2:56pm EDT

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how are we doing as far as the funding operations? >> from our perspective these projects, partnerships are successful when you can align commercial objectives of policy objectives. it is it is a difficult thing to do and is not suited for every project, but the case of nine 7495, we have the alignment where policy outcome perspective, you heard me talk about time savings, increased transit, jobs, economic outcomes, from a commercial perspective we are pleased that 495 has come out of the box and a solid position so that we can get a return for our shareholders as well. that is what we need for the us. chris can speak to this as well. we need more examples in the us of projects that have alignment and have been successful
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delivering outcomes. those kind of case studies will give, i hope, policymakers encouragement to try these kinds of public-private partnerships and to be able to move projects forward like we have seen in other markets around the world. >> questions from the audience? >> one more. >> it has been in the news because of the recent derailment. had you had positive train control it would have been able to stop before the accident. how are other countries doing? i i mean, do they have it in place? do you no? are we the ones lagging behind? >> sure. positive train control is 45 -year-old technology. we are dealing with trying to
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turn a train at 50 miles per hour slower than the cars on i-95. a turn that was designed for freight system. we have to separate freight from commercial. commercial is largely a straight line, and when you look, it really challenges the united states. are we ready to do mega- scale engineering development? in a funding model like in mac 21 that has 27 increments? ..
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were basically, we don't have a handle on flying anymore. at a hundred million dollars a day in cost, we can't build this were tired of the pain. further defenses and information systems, wireless systems, and digital and computing technologies that could put a glass operations and some -- operation system inside of a train system, much like we have seen an aircraft. i have the privilege of traveling from paris to belgium and back and i was on the train and had a glass of wine and it never even shook. i said this was better than flying on southwest airlines. we look at flying in this country like we are flying on a greyhound. how many people engage in -- enjoy engaging in the airport these days yucca
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basically, it's not an enjoyable experience. right now, we are looking at a hundred million dollars a day in cost, we can't build this were tired of the pain. more importantly on a serious matter, i think our transportation enterprises in trouble whether we lost seven lives or whether we've lost a hundred lives. that's the most in a decade. i'm always mindful about that, about safety. at the same time we put advances in technology we have a safer transportation enterprise. safety is our northstar in transportation. as engineers and scientists develop these technologies we have to implement them so we can become more safer enterprise and move forward.
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everything we do today is an economic choice, and every single morning we have a choice and we have to make a choice on transportation. that engages us every day. congress is doing incremental analysis because that's how they bring home the bacon. it's one of the most discretionary areas in the budget. that's when we say look what i brought home to you. right? a new bridge, new parking lot, a new train, a new curve in the highway, another lane in the highway. when was the last big transportation project we've done in this country? i think we can remember the big project in boston but that's about it. when we do this it engages the public hope in the transportation system.
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that's what infrastructure week is about this week. >> thank you dr. mcgee. i would like to thank our entire panel. chairman schuster left baltimore and is tied up in traffic in boston. i will think this panel very much for this presentation and for our audience. >> a discussion on transportation infrastructure from this past thursday. you heard there is bit about railroad safety including the positive rail control system that was not in use on a section of track in philadelphia where this week's fatal amtrak derailment took lays. "the new york times" reporting that amtrak says that budgetary short all, technical hurdles and bureaucratic rules have delayed the full implementation of that system. meanwhile, members of congress also speaking out this week, some saying amtrak funding may have played a role in the crash but others like the house
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transportation committee chair bill shuster, saying there is no connection. this afternoon, we'd like to hear your thoughts about the congressional role of amtrak safety, what you think congress should do about ensuring the safety of the nation's passenger rail system. number is on your screen. we will go right to the phones. dennis is with us from missouri on the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: i'm just curious. i did not watch the whole show i just tuned in, but i thought i saw a comment that said amtrak being paid by customers does not pay the bills. i know the federal government does pay some of the bills for them, but my question is -- if this is true, what does the
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board of directors get paid for a year? if they are getting paid an insurmountable amount of money why do they need federal money? as far as the regulations on amtrak, they seem to be too big to fail. i think they need the start putting more regulations on how they do things. we've got seatbelts in cars, we got to pay for insurance or we cannot drive. what's the deal with that echo >> x for the call. todd on the line for republicans. caller: if i were doing 107 miles an hour in a two mile an hour curb, you know what the results are going to be. i want to tell everybody that highway construction bill, trent lott, all them congressman, and
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a highway bill means highway bill. it does not mean we are going to go out and build railroad systems all over the country. these cities want them, let them build them. i thank you for your time. host: thanks for your call. next, the line for democrats. caller: my comment is dealing with infrastructure, highway or rail. we always talk about reagan's trickle down economics. we talk about kennedy's vision to go to the moon. why aren't more people talking about president eisenhower's vision to put in a highway system? i may not be calling it exactly as he did, but he had the vision to have the interstate highway system. i remember we thought he was crazy, but look at it now, and
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we're not talking about the vision that he had and others have had. we're so busy trying to make a god out of reagan. that's my question and comment. host: thanks. tepper, florida, line for democrats. caller: i was impressed by that professor oliver mckeever said we are using 19th-century technology for 20th century infrastructure. yes, congress does have a role, and that is to keep us safe. they are all in a hissy fit now because they deal we are blaming them, democrats are blaming them for this accident. however that accident happened if something was thrown at the train or the glass rope -- if they had that system, that positive train control in service, it would have stopped the train immediately when there was any danger. this is nothing new with republicans. george w. bush wanted to zero out amtrak.
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as a matter of fact, the hubble telescope, one of our proudest achievements, the bush administration wanted to just let it die up there, don't even fix it when it needed repairs. does anybody remember the columbia, the shuttle that crashed? you know why? because they had this guy o'keefe that was head of nasa under bush, and they called him a bean counter. they underfund everything. they only care about their corporate buddies and building another aircraft carrier so we can go to war. host: thanks for the call. the hill reporting the house lacks amtrak instruction fun reporting on cutting funding voting to cut funding from the amtrak funding request. just a day after the deadly derailment -- amtrak derailment in philadelphia. your calls today on the
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congressional role in amtrak safety. next up is randy in pennsylvania. go ahead. you are on the air. randy: thanks for having me on. i would like to make a small comment. seems like something bad happens, and you hear about all of these democrats and politicians making a big splash. this is just like anything else -- we will hear about it and it will fade away. they fight like little kids on the hill, and it's really a shame. that's what i had to say. thanks a lot. host: the investigation into the incident will be the topic, as you might imagine, on the sunday tv talk shows. robert somewhat, who has been the public face of the national transportation safety board at several ms. conferences following the philadelphia accident will appear on abc's "this week," nbc's "with the
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press," "face the nation" on cbs and ox news sunday. on the line for independents in sacramento, california, go ahead. 202-748-8002 --caller: i have listened to this and been in this game for probably a decade. we had a company we founded in 2006 that could put an operating system onto a train, and we did a deal with a area -- bay area rapid transit. by having a communication system on the train that could literally go in and become the pilot of that system. it would have -- we had approached amtrak. we had approached washington d.c. and people just don't listen. they are looking for excuses and you've got to take the politics out of it. host: was it a matter of money
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the expense when you approached the government? caller: we were going to pay for it. you can then give wi-fi to the clients, and they can be working while they are on the train. the pushback was political. you are not allowed to use a transportation system right-of-way for a profit center. it is illegal. you have to have it neutral. we had spent a lot of our own money to get a neutral contract that everyone could participate in having the fiber rights to the trains. there's a solution set here that big as this would pay for in places where there's a large population like that northeast corridor. there's lots of population there. you can have cell towers along the right-of-way. you can have wi-fi on the trains. you can have fiber trends point
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-- transports. you can have the data, analytics. there's all kinds of way to make money out of this. it's just so political. back when the first incident that caused the concept of positive train control occurred back in california, it was the same argument. barbara boxer put in a bill. the buildup past but then they put it on the big trains. the big trains -- they don't want to pay for this. positive train control is their bill. host: thanks for the call. time for one or two more -- leon in brunswick, georgia. what you think congress' role is in amtrak safety? leon: i think the biggest problem we have is the wheels on the trains. they need to be to where they lock on the rail and they will not eject from the track.
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that would be a simple thing for all tracks across the u.s. host: thanks for calling. henry, you are next in elkhart indiana. republican caller. henry: amtrak, i think basically, the government needs to get out of it and let the railroads handle it or amtrak handle it with the railroad. whenever i see the government get involved, it gets convoluted and distorted and mixed up and bogged down in bureaucracy. host: you would like to see it privatized completely? henry: yeah. the only track that amtrak owns -- well, it owns some around the country, but they are traveling with the rights with the privileges of the railroad. the railroad keeps their track of.
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i have heard this thing about the infrastructure -- railroads, by a large -- you look at the big lines. they spend a lot of money on maintenance, and it comes out of their coffers. host: all right. thanks for the call. we have time for john in redding, california. you get the last role in congress and its role in ensuring safety and the nations passenger rail network. go ahead. john: thank you for taking my call, c-span. fundamentally, congress does not have the vision and the courage to do what needs to be done when it comes to transportation. eisenhower was wrong. he should not have built an interstate system, he should have built an interstate nationwide, not the transit is to him. look at the millions of land up arm -- millions of acres of farmland we put under roads and shopping malls. high-speed rail should have started right after what or two. they did not have the vision or the courage.
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the technology was not there like it is now, that's true but it was on the drawing boards ok? it just seems like with everything, congress doesn't -- courage is not the word i want to use, but that's the only word that will probably take from the air. host: thanks for calling. appreciate all your calls today on amtrak safety and the role of congress. coming up, a senate hearing on the impacts of technology on u.s. border security efforts. officials from the homeland security department joined u.s. border patrol the beauty chief at a hearing that was held by the senate homeland security committee. it runs about two hours. this hearing will come to order. our ranking member is still a few minutes out, so we'll get under way here.
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when he gets here, i will express again the fact that we're very glad that senator carper's stop was in wilmington. he was on the train that derailed and, of course, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims of that tragedy. our thoughts and prayers are also with all of our law enforcement officials that, you know, step out of their door stop every day and risk their lives for our public safety. and rather than me say it, i can't say it better than what secretary jeh johnson said in the letter. i would like to read this. dear colleagues, this is national police week. this week we honor the sacrifice and commitment of the men and women in law enforcement. we pay special tribute to those who have given their lives in the line of duty and offer support to their families. the past year our department lost two border patrol agents in the line of duty. this week's agent ss names will
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be added to the memorial in washington, d.c. i'm also mindful of border patrol agent xavier vega jr. who last august was killed during a robbery while fishing with his family in texas. whatever you are this week, i encourage you to honors to who have chosen the law enforcement profession. i ask everybody here in the hearing room, in honor of those individuals that secretary johnson was commending as well as all of our law enforcement officials that have given their last full measure just if we recognize a moment of silence. thank you. i can actually ask consent to have my opening statement read into the record.
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and i guess what i would like to do is get right down to testimony. it is tradition of this committee that we swear in witnesses so if everybody rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? >> i do. >> thank you, please be seated. >> our first witness is assistant commissioner randolph d. alles. pronounce that right? alles. ok. i rarely get it right. don't feel bad. randolph alles is the assistant commissioner for the office of air and marine of the department of homeland security. oam is the largest aviation and maritime law enforcement organization. he served as the u.s. marine corps for 35 years, retiring in

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